William & Mary, an agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is insured through the Commonwealth's Risk Management Plan. The Plan provides coverage anywhere that university business takes the faculty and staff. This coverage includes liability, property, vehicle and employee theft. The Commonwealth's Division of Risk Management (DRM), within the Department of the Treasury, administers the Plan.
The Plan provides general liability coverage ($2,000,000 per occurrence liability coverage as set forth in Section 2.1-526-8 of the CODE OF VIRGINIA). This Plan provides coverage to all state employees, agents and volunteers.
The university is responsible for the simple negligent acts and omissions of its employees and agents. Note that "negligence" is an important element of this responsibility and that William & Mary is not a guarantor of either personal safety or property; nor is the Commonwealth responsible for "Acts of God." Further, the plan does not cover contractual agreements of any sort.
To be covered, faculty and staff must be acting within the course and scope of their employment. Agents (including volunteers) must be performing their assigned duties. Further, the simple negligent act/omission must not be a willful disregard of safety or an illegal deed. DRM will decide if an employee will be covered and receive representation from the OAG. There are three actions that personnel should take that will assist the university in its defense:
- exercise professional care when planning and executing an event; anticipating possible mishaps and taking precautions,
- if something occurs for which a liability claim might be filed, initiate action to limit the damage, and
- report the matter promptly to risk management.
University property includes all items acquired through a State purchase order, by contract, a care-custody-and-control loan agreement or as a gift. It also includes university funds and other monetary instruments. The role of risk management is to assist departments in preparing their property claims.
Property coverage is worldwide and is based on the actual replacement or repair cost. There is a $10,000 deductible on all property claims. In the event there is an occurrence in which there are multiple losses, this will be considered one claim and the $10,000 deductible will apply to the entire claim. For losses less than $10,000, the department(s) is responsible for the cost of repair or replacement. All losses should be reported promptly. Claims must be filed within two years of the incident.
The university's property insurance does not reimburse for personal property of others, unless negligence on the part of the Commonwealth (university) can be proven (this includes faculty, staff or student personal property). The plan also excludes losses caused by employee dishonesty, window glass, vegetation, sidewalks, unexplained circumstances, mysterious disappearances or shortages disclosed on taking inventory.
The university owns approximately 184 vehicles. Though most of the vehicles are under the control of Facilities Management and Athletics, some of the vehicles are the property of other departments. University faculty, staff and students are authorized to use these vehicles for official business or college-approved activities. Departments are responsible for approving the use of university vehicles and will be required to pay the cost of accidental damage to the vehicles. All university vehicles are covered by insurance for liability and uninsured motorists; however, neither collision nor comprehensive coverage is provided. The risk manager is the point-of-contact for vehicle insurance matters.
Foundations affiliated with William & Mary that are incorporated and have their own officers and directors are not covered under the Commonwealth's Risk Management Plan. The university, subject to reimbursement may contractually assume responsibility for their personnel and property administration. Institutes, foundations and centers are responsible for their own private insurance.
Volunteers & Community Service Personnel
Volunteers and similar non-employee personnel are considered agents of the university. So long as they are performing their assigned duties, these persons are covered by William & Mary's liability insurance. Supervisors must ensure that these duties and responsibilities are agreed to by all concerned prior to commencing work. It is preferable that this agreement be in writing. If injured, these persons are not covered by Workers' Compensation; Risk Management administers this program as a liability insurance claim.
William & Mary's liability insurance coverage varies depending on the event. A student activity may be part of the university's normal academic mission or be specifically approved by a dean/department head. If it is part of the university's mission, the activity is covered by the Risk Management Plan. Contrarily, a student activity may be voluntary or a social event, separate from the university. In that case, the event is not covered by the Commonwealth's insurance. Student organizations that have a high potential for lawsuits should consider purchasing liability insurance.
Tenants and Users Liability Insurance Policy (TULIP) can be purchased by vendors, student organizations, and other outside entities requesting to use the university's facilities for specific events. It protects both the facility user and the university against claims by third parties who may be injured or lose property as a result of participating in an event. Events may range from very low risk such as classroom seminars or receptions to higher risk events including summer camps, sports events or concerts. Learn more about TULIP and view the brochure (PDF).
The Sports Camps Insurance Program protects both the Camp and the Institution against claims by program participants or other third parties who may be injured or lose property as a result of participating in a camp. Coverage includes only General Liability and Accident Medical for Participants. No coverage is available for Workers' Compensation or Auto Liability. Learn more about the sports camps insurance program.